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Mike Milloy Planning and Development Officer
Tel: 902-424-8800Email: Mike.Milloy@novascotia.ca

December 01, 2017
LABOUR MARKET TRENDS - NOVEMBER 2017

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment increased by 1,300 to 448,900 in November 2017.  This is the third consecutive month of modest employment gains.

Compared to October, Nova Scotia’s labour force creased by 2,000 to 492,200 in November. With labour supply growing at a faster pace than labour demand, the net result was a 0.1 percentage point rise in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 8.8 per cent in November. With labour supply increasing combined with a slight increase in the working age population (+500), the result was an increase in the participation rate by 0.2 percentage points to 61.9 per cent in October. The growth in employment pushed the employment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 56.5 per cent.

In November, the increase in employment was distributed across both full-time (+1,000) and part-time jobs (400).  This can include the net impacts of changing hours of work within the same position.

During the first eleven months of 2017 compared to the first eleven months of 2016, there was an increase of 2,900 (0.7 per cent) in the average employment level. Average full time employment was down 600 while there were 3,600 more part-time jobs. The labour force was up 3,500 for the first eleven months of 2017. With labour supply increasing at a faster pace, the net result was an increase in the average unemployment rate  of 0.1 percentage point to 8.4 per cent. The labour force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 61.9 per cent. The employment rate increased slightly to 56.6 per cent. 

 

AGE COHORTS (January-November 2017 vs. November-October 2016)

The labour force survey population estimate of the 15-24-year age group declined by 1,300 comparing the first eleven months of 2017 to the first eleven months of 2016. This age group saw no change in the labour force and a decline of 1,400 in employment during this period as the number of unemployed increased by 1,400. The unemployment rate increased to 16.9 per cent on average over the first eleven months of 2017, compared with 14.9 per cent during the same period in 2016. The larger decline in employment compared to the decline in population led to a 0.7 percentage point decline in the youth employment rate to 53.3 per cent.

For Nova Scotians aged 25 to 54, the labour force increased by 400 and employment increased 1,200 (comparing the first eleven months of 2017 with the same period in 2016). With growth in labour demand outpacing the growth in labour supply, the net result was a 0.3 percentage points decline in the unemployment rate for core aged workers to 6.9 per cent. With a rising labour force and a falling population (-3,200), the labour force participation rate for Nova Scotians aged 25 to 54 increased 0.8 percentage points to 86.1 per cent.  The employment rate rose 1.1 percentage points to 80.1 per cent.

For those Nova Scotians aged 55 and over, the population, labour force and employment levels have all increased comparing the first eleven months of 2017 to the first eleven months of 2016.  Employment increased by 3,200 while labour force was also up 3,200. Unemployment level is up by 100. As employment growth rates were slightly slower than labour force growth rates, the unemployment rate for older workers decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 7.3 per cent. The participation rate increased for this age group to 34.8 per cent and the employment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 32.3 per cent. Over half of the year-to-date gains in part time work are in the 55 and over age cohort, which has seen a recent upswing in part time employment.  Full time employment among older workers has been stable or dropping slightly in recent months.

  

SECTORS (January-November 2017 vs. January-November 2016)

Year to date employment in the public sector was up 2.4 per cent at 114,200, while private sector employment was unchanged at 275,800. Self employment through the first eleven months of 2017 was up 0.5 per cent, to a level of 58,700.

Comparing the first eleven months of 2017 to the first eleven months of 2016, employment in goods-producing sectors decreased by 200 jobs. Employment gains in agriculture, utilities and manufacturing were enough to offset a loss in construction, and forestry/fishing/mining/gas.

There was a net gain of 3,000 jobs in service-producing sectors. Strong employment gains in wholesale/retail trade, professional services, and public administration were enough to offset the job losses in financial services, educational services, health care, information and cultural industries, and transportation and warehousing. 

 

Regions (3 month moving average, January-November 2017 vs. January-November 2016)

For the first eleven months of 2017 compared to the first eleven months of 2016, two regions (North Shore, and the Annapolis Valley) reported employment growth that outpaced labour force growth, resulting in lower average unemployment rates.  The Cape Breton had falling labour supply with only a slight drop in employment, pushing down their unemployment rate. The Southern Region had only slight adjustments with more leaving the labour force causing a drop in the unemployment rate.  The Halifax economic region was the only region to see its unemployment rate climb. This was due to falling employment combined with a slight increase in labour supply.

The Cape Breton region reported 300 job losses in average employment levels for the first eleven months of 2017 over the first eleven months of 2016. The labour force decreased by 900 (-1.6 per cent) for the same period. With a slight decline in labour demand along with a larger drop in labour supply, the result was a 0.9 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 14.2 per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment increased 1,200 (1.7 per cent) for the first eleven months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. Labour supply increased by 1,100 (1.4 per cent) for the same period. The relatively larger increase in labour demand resulted in a 0.3 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to 8.9 per cent.

The Annapolis Valley reported an increase in employment of 3,100 (5.6 per cent) and an increase in the labour force of 3,000 for the first elevon months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The net result was decrease of 0.4 percentage points in the average unemployment rate to 7.6 per cent.

The Southern region saw a slight increase of 100 (0.2 per cent) in employment along with a small drop of 700 in the labour force for the first eleven months of 2017 over the first eleven months of 2016. With employment rising and labour force falling, the unemployment rate was down 1.2 percentage points to 9.9 per cent.

Comparing the first eleven months of 2017 to the first eleven months of 2016, Halifax (HRM) experienced a decrease in employment of 1,500 (-0.7 per cent) along with a slight increase in the labour supply (100). These adjustments resulted in 0.6 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent. 

Provincial Comparisons

Employment increased 1.8 per cent in Canada comparing January-November 2017 with January-November 2016. Employment grew on a year-to-date basis in eight provinces with the largest gains in British Columbia (+3.6%), Prince Edward Island (+2.9%), and Quebec (+2.2%). Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.0%) declined over the first eleven months of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016. 


The Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 8.8 per cent in November 2017. In October of last year, the Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 8.0 per cent. Nine provinces have lower unemployment rates compared to the same month a year ago, with Prince Edward Island (-1.8 percentage points) having the steepest decline. The unemployment rate was higher only in Nova Scotia (+0.8 percentage points) compared to November 2016. The lowest unemployment rate among the provinces in November 2017 was in BC at 4.8 per cent while the highest was in Newfoundland and Labrador at 14.4 per cent.

  

 

National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area this month was 7.4 per cent. Victoria (3.8%) had the lowest unemployment rate for a CMA this month while the highest was in St John's (8.8%)

  

The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 61.8 per cent, level with last month. 

The three month average employment ending in November for the Halifax CMA was up 0.4 per cent compared to the three month period ending in October. The largest gain among CMAs was in London, Ontario where employment rose 1.6 per cent.

 

 

Note: Seasonally adjusted, 3 month average.

 



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